Sunday, 5 August 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green: City of Steam


Ooh I'm so mad! It's just blatant prejudice! Honestly, I can't remember the last time an MMO riled me up this much!

Okay, too many exclamation marks. Calm down. Deep breaths...

I just made a Goblin in the latest City of Steam alpha test. This weekend was meant to be the final one when we got to try out all the Greenskins but something went wrong and we just got Goblins. It's all good, though. They added a fourth alpha weekend and we get Hobbes and Orcs next time.

In the meanwhile, as I said I made a Goblin. City of Steam seems to pride itself on breaking fantasy stereotypes. The humans are roughly standard issue but as I've observed, the elves are more like Goths or Vampires. No, that doesn't really do them justice. They're more like fin de siecle aesthetes.

Ignore the ears, okay?
As for the Goblins, well in what other fantasy MMO are the goblins the best looking race? They look ridiculously cute and not in a WoW KrazyKute way. I made a Hobbe in Sneak Peak and he looked suave and debonaire. That is not how the green races are supposed to be. So refreshing.

This is why City of Steam just works. It oozes individuality. Everything is something you've seen a hundred times before but now you're seeing it at an angle. And it's not just the look or the lore. There are practical differences.

When did it last make any odds what race you chose in an MMO? Oh, once it mattered, sure. Rolling a half-elf druid in Everquest was tantamount to pinning a "Kick Me " sign to your cloak but like concrete under climbing frames, that's all in the past.

This is IT??
Imagine my surprise, then, when I step into my house in the Nexus (how many MMOs have a zone/city/planet called Nexus?) and find it's just one freaking room!

Seriously, we get ONE ROOM?!

I understand the roleplay element. Everyone hates greenskins and we're lucky to get anything at all. It's a plot point. I talked to my goblin uncle about it and did a quest. Really, I get that part. But still, as a player I have a smaller house! Is that even legal?

I love it. I really, really love it. Meaningful, tangible differences between races. Bring it on! City of Steam does more with its races with a tiny brush stroke here, a turn of phrase there, than most MMOs manage with half a dozen voiceovers from that actor who played that guy in that series in the '80s, oh come on, you know the one I mean!

I am so playing a goblin when this thing goes live. No, a Draug. No, it has to be a Hobbe. Maybe a highlander...

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